Standing Room Only thrills Yelm with Young Frankenstein the musical

Jessica Varvil, Staff Writer

 

Standing Room Only (SRO), a community theater group based in Yelm, Wash. has produced a delightful musical rendition of “Young Frankenstein” that runs through Nov. 12 at the Triad Theater.

The cozy Triad Theater features an amalgamation of seating; couches and chairs mingle together, rarely matching. The audience sits close to the stage, feeling a kinship with the actors who dance and sing down the aisles and on the stage.

Mel Brook’s iconic movie “Young Frankenstein” was released in 1974 and became a cult classic with a 93 percent from popular review site Rotten Tomatoes. The musical version amplifies the goofy parody of the original movie with expansive musical numbers.

The cast displayed extraordinary talent in their comedic timing, vocal performance, and physical acting. Ian Montgomery, who also performs with the Olympia Choral Society, forged his own take on the iconic Frederick Frankenstein that was distinctly different from Gene Wilder’s classic portrayal.

Hannah Longshore and Dahlia Young, playing Elizabeth Benning and Inga, respectively, kept the audience in stitches with their over-the-top romantic antics. Longshore illustrates the accessibility of community theater as an actor who also works as an office manager and licensed insurance agent in Puyallup. Both Longshore and Young have been performing on the stage since their toddler years.

Jesse Geray created a lovable Igor that stole the show on many occasions with his endearing hijinks. Geray credits his mother and “frequent, sugar-induced deliriums” for inspiring his sixth role with Standing Room Only. Kurt Loertscher’s monster was so perfectly uncommunicative that his newfound ability for speech at the end of the play was delightfully disconcerting.

Nancy Tribush Hillman’s rendition of “My Boyfriend” perfectly captured the tone of the iconic quote, and Kevin McManus’s physical acting was spot on for the role of Inspector Kemp. According to the playbill, Hillman “is the founder of the Drew Harvey Theater and StageStruck Productions — the progenitors of SRO.” Her energy and passion on stage illustrated her immense value to the company.

As a diverse group of actors, featuring thespians as young as 13, the entire cast and ensemble pulled together to provide a thoroughly enjoyable theater experience. The raucous and lovable performance is well worth the student ticket price of 20 dollars, and is only a 20-minute drive from Saint Martin University.

Standing Room Only will be holding auditions for their next play in November and offering Shakespeare classes over the winter. Next summer, the company will perform Shakespeare in the park, though the exact play choice is yet to be determined.

Each month, Standing Room Only produces radio shows at the Triad Theater that bring back the nostalgia of classic voice acting in an intimate stage setting. In honor of Halloween, the October show was “Tales of Terror.”

The Triad Theater aims to promote the arts in the Yelm area by providing a platform for artists and hosting workshops for those who would like to learn. On the second Thursday of every month, the theater hosts an open mic night for poets and songwriters with a 5 dollar cover fee.

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